Posts filed under ‘Culture’
I don’t really get how this question is so difficult to answer, yet it seems a cause of much debate. I’ve heard laity and clergy alike profess to have little idea what the answer is or should be. I suppose I have a pretty strong Anglican identity – I’ve grown up in the Church, loved, loathed and followed it in great detail for years. So for those of you who are confused, let me attempt to explain.
[Trigger Warning: Contains discussion of rape culture and attitudes to rape, but not historical or theoretical examples.]
With the sexual moralising that has gone on over the same sex marriage debate, yet again many churches are discussing the kind of relationships they think are commendable, or even acceptable, within society. Whilst same-sex relationships have been dividing the church for years, the church is often silent on the scandal of sexual violence and rape culture that characterises much of how our culture talks about different-sex relationships.
Human beings have always tended towards definitions relative to themselves. We feel most at ease with that which is somehow intrinsically the same as ourselves, and when we go searching for something new, it is always in terms of otherness – foreign holidays, alien planets, ethnic cooking, as though our own cooking is not tied to our ethnicity.
Despite certain stereotypes and even the best efforts of the media, most Western Christians today do not hold to a literalist view of creation – they believe something approximating to a divinely inspired and intended creation worked out through the processes described by modern science. In fact, science degrees are thought to be more popular than arts degrees amongst UK Christians students. But this only refers to ‘hard science’ – what of the Social Sciences? Is the Church unable to extend its understanding of divine inspiration beyond Biology, Chemistry and Physics?
The current gender-outrage doing the rounds right now is brought to you by those wonderful chaps at the EU who are trying to ‘solve’ the ‘problem’ of a lack of women in science. For those who haven’t already, spend a minute watching this advert and observe (oh, that’s a sciencey word, isn’t it?) all that is cringeworthy about the latest attempt.
Media agent provocateur George Carey, a man who is so maligning his former office I don’t even want to name it, has struck out once again. This time, he’s trying to claim that the definition of Marriage is so set in stone, no one can possibly alter them. But alter them we have, and today’s ‘institution’ and ‘sacrament’ look and feel very different.
I like to think of myself as someone who will rush to stop bad things happening when I see or hear them. I will challenge people for making remarks that are at least overtly homophobic or sexist, for instance. I tend to think of myself as the sort of person to check if people are ok if they’re in the middle of a street and don’t look it. Just occasionally I’ll even cross a road in the process. But a few recent events have been worrying me. [Trigger warning: Domestic Violence]
The unfolding saga of SOPA/PIPA is pretty unmissable. Sure enough, right when I thought I would be fine, I found myself needing to check something on Wikipedia on the day of the Blackout. I disagree with the proposed laws for a number of reasons, but I have to say I find some of the companies taking part in the protests quite self-interested in their actions.
Being in my mid-twenties, its unsurprising that some of my peers are having kids. But quite a large number aren’t, and a sizeable chunk of my female friends are very fervently “not having kids”. Its a huge change in one’s life, and so perhaps its not surprising how quickly it becomes a divisive issue.
Its perhaps natural that the names “Bradley Manning” and “Julian Assange” are often written together on banners and in agit-prop. They are, after all, both names associated with Wikileaks, and are both wanted in America for punishment over the release of cables relating to America’s conduct of war. But that’s probably where the similarities stop. (more…)